Mexican line joins APL in Asia service
BY K.K. CHADHA
AMERICAN President Lines (APL) and Transportacion Maritima Mexicana (TMM) plan to start the first fixed-day, direct container service between Asia and Mexico's Pacific coast next year.
TMM also plans to provide a regular weekly container service from Asia to the US, in partnership with APL. Both services are subject to US regulatory approval.
The carriers said their customers will benefit from faster, more reliable service.
The improvements will come by way of a slot exchange agreement that will allow APL and TMM to use space aboard each other's ships serving the transpacific trades.
Under the proposed arrangement, cargo from all major Asian ports will be moved by APL container ships to APL terminals in Japan and South Korea.
From there, the boxes will be placed on one of six TMM vessels bound for the Mexican ports of Manzanillo and Lazaro Cardenas.
Store door pick-up and delivery to and from these two ports will be available for Mexico City, Guadalajara, Leon, Aguascalientes, Cuernavaca, Peubla, Queretaro, Toluca and interior points.
Peter Barefoot, managing director of Victor International Shipping, the Hong Kong representative of TMM, said customers of both lines will benefit from the partnership.
In the case of the Mexican line, transit times will be cut from Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan to Mexico.
The weekly direct service from Japan and Korea will replace the existing 81/2-day rotation.
TMM also will gain access to APL's extensive Asian network.
For its customers, APL will eliminate the need for double customs entries and transit times will be cut.
Until now, APL's shipments from Asia cleared customs first on arrival at Los Angeles, and again as they crossed the border by truck or on double-stack container trains.
Transit time from Pusan to Mexico City will be cut by two days to 19 days.
Transit time from Mexico City to Yokohama will be 18 days, saving one full week.
The two carriers also will start a weekly joint feeder service from Mexico to destinations in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala, including a new call at Balboa, Panama, giving faster transit times from Asia to Central America.
The APL-TMM tie up will enable TMM to step from an eight-day frequency in the US to a fixed-day weekly rotation.
It will also allow TMM to extend its service to Oakland and Seattle, riding on APL vessels, as well as to Singapore and Port Klang, in Malaysia.
TMM's transit times to the US also will improve, with the voyage from Hong Kong to southern California reduced by six days to 13 days.
Transit time from Los Angeles to Yokohama will be cut by two days to 11.
TMM said it also intends to negotiate with APL's affiliate, APL Stacktrain Services, to expand its inter-modal capabilities in the US.
The two companies will market their services separately and co-ordinate their own customers' cargo.